These are recommendations for a diet to support clear, glowing skin. All these foods contain natural phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost microcirculation and optimize cell metabolism. Microcirculation is blood flow to the tiny and delicate blood vessels of all organs. Healthy microcirculation is essential for glowing skin, supporting the liver and kidneys (which detoxify the body), optimally functioning adrenal and thyroid glands, maximal brain activity, and even proper sexual function. The original 5 Point Plan was suggested by Kerry Bone, a medical herbalist with 29 years of practice and the Principal of the Australian College of Phytotherapy. I took the original plan and adapted it for maximal skin benefits and to make it practical to follow every day. Use it to reduce inflammation and promote an anti-aging effect. Each suggestion below is backed by meticulous research providing evidence of its benefits.
1. Beets contain dietary nitrates, which allow the body to make natural nitric oxide, dilating small blood vessels. One small beet or half a large beet every day is enough. Blend it in a smoothie, juice it, or slice it thinly and sprinkle with lime juice and eat it raw.
2. Cocoa contains flavonoids that reduce dysfunction of small blood vessels caused by sugar. Eat at least 85% dark chocolate, 20 grams or 2/3 ounce every day. (Hint, eat this in the morning so that it doesn’t interfere with sleep.)
3. Increase your intake of anthocyanins by eating 2 to 3 ounces of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries every day.
4. Raw crushed garlic, ½ to 1 clove a day, contains allicin, which boosts microcirculation. I can’t stomach raw garlic, so I takes Garlic Forte capsules by Standard Process, which contain the allicin but don’t have the same effects on my digestion or my breath as raw garlic does.
5. Herbs and spices, especially green tea, ginger, and turmeric. Drink 3-4 cups a day of green tea--decaf works, too. Put an inch of ginger root in a smoothie, or mince it and steep it in hot water for a soothing tea. Organic turmeric is difficult to find, so I also take a capsule called Vitanox every day, which contains rosemary, green tea, turmeric, and grape seed to provide phenolic diterpenes (including carnosol and rosmarinic acid), polyphenols including epigallocatechin gallate, essential oils containing sesquiterpenes, yellow pigments referred to as diarylheptanoids (including curcumin—which is the important part of the turmeric), flavonoids, triterpenoids and oligomeric procyanidins.
Whew, that last bit is a mouthful, but you don't have to remember the names of all those phytochemicals. Just print out or scribble down numbers 1 through 5 and post them on your refrigerator door or in your smartphone for the next time you are in the grocery store.